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King Davy

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Everything posted by King Davy

  1. Officially The Hatchery harvested and fertilized 3.9 million Chinook eggs in four days. They also had many "green" fish, meaning fish that weren't ripe sitting in the runs that they had to put back in the holding ponds to ripen up. This week they'll finish up the Coho egg take. Plus the additional eggs from Canada. I've been on a lot of tribs here in the western basin, and fresh kings are still rampaging up these trickles. Latest I've seen this many fish come in in the shape they are in. Saw some 30 plus pound fish idling in a nearby trib on Sat. Just my observation, but it looks like a lot of Salmon simply weren't playing where many were fishing this past open water season.
  2. Well and that's the key. Edwardvh1. The salmon river has seen years they probably have had 50K salmon enter the river, both wild and stocked adults, and they are all through the river course. Typically they can get their eggs and milt from a few hundred fish. Of course you always want to have extras, for any eye up issues. But they don't spawn 1000's of fish to get 3 Million eggs. From my friends who work at the hatchery, they seem to have enough fish on the property to achieve that egg take. But you never know for sure until you start the process. We heard the other night in the DEC/Stakeholders meeting DEC is working to procure 500K eggs from the Credit River egg take. This appears to be an off year....but I remember years where we had fresh salmon running right up till Christmas. The fish....and Mother Nature are holding the cards,......and actually they always do.
  3. Gambler...you missed it they gave away several sets of cow bells and spinners in all kinds of colors.....rods reels etc. Was well attended....room seemed pretty full. DEC Co LT Matt kicked off the meeting to talk about the hibitual issues on our tribs with foul play. He delivered a message that I know I've written about on these sites. CO's write tickets, and Judges toss the tickets out without a conviction. as stated by some of us...this has to be taken up with our elected officials, to do two things, Make the fines"Hurt" $250 Max fine doesn't hurt enough, and get the judges who hear these cases to lay the hammer down. Neither going to be an easy task. DEC can write Fish and Game laws but penalty for these cases has to be changed in the State Legislature. The folks attending cited several smaller tribs especially during the brown trout migration that his officers should target. Dave McNeil (Sea Grant) showed off an engineering modeling that can capture not only surface temps but through a set of algorithms of water temp densities can also graph for the open water fishery subsurface temps as well. I guess this info is available to the public now, but you can only get a point in time update. Others will chime in. Steve LePan had the floor for most of the meeting. He had several data sets available on bait fish assessments, creels for April through Sept, Also had the weekly seining results for the infamous flood spring where some feel we lost most of that's years wild stock in the salmon river. Now I'm taking the risk of delivering to you what I thought I heard. Others may have a different take and that's fine, but let's keep it civil. Where are the salmon? At best ....both Anglers and DEC/Scientist can only speculate. Salmon are starting to show up in good numbers at the Salmon river, and likely plenty of fish to get their egg take. Other tribs are starting to see migations of fish, but it's easily evident that arrivals are at least a month late, if not more. to me the most obvious logical reason is the result of fish being late this spring to the inshore waters, cold summer eastly weather, possibly/probably displacing fish from normal routes. DEC thinks they will come. Will it be as many as we are used to....don't know. Egg take at the Hatchery should begin next Tuesday. Over Abundance of Alewifes - DEC and many in attendance are at odds over this....as has been the position since 1993 when DEC decided to reduce king stocking due to their estimates of lower Alewife levels to stocking levels. Key is the Spring Trawls by USGS. We had a near or record hatch in 2013 of Alewifes. This spring the most important target is how those fish survived the winter to become a new generation of bait fish. the results of the netting after the brutal long cold winter of those fish to finish their first full year in the lake was a sizable HIT from most likely winter stress. However if you take the over all populations of YOY through say age six, while the chart showed a drop from over all alewife strength for 2014, it wasn't overly alarming. Yet this 2013 hatch took a pretty deep hit. This is the first big hit after years 2009-2013 of above avg. successful hatches. While many in the room debated those findings because of their own personal experiences....DEC reminded everyone in the room of the Audit that was done by a team of Forage base scientists from around the globe back in the early 2000's to asses the USGS and DEC process for the netting operation, and the results of the audit maintained that the process to collect this data was sound. DEC and USGS stands by the 2014 forage survey. Confirmed there was a spring/early summer die off....which they expected due to the coldest longest winter in over 100 years. and that they have no evidence to state there is an over abundance of Alewife in LO. Salmon - While everybody scratches their heads on where these fish are, DEC also stated that the weight and size of the fish sampled so far this year are at or slighly below avg. Further dispensing the notion (for DEC) there are too many bait fish. They would have expeced this data to be pointing in the other direction of more and larger fish. Again not alarming, yet not a tell tale sign to them a condition has changed. Wild Salmon - Understand that the seining results only states a number of eggs that sucessfuly hatched, and not the survival to adult stages of these fish, the data for the flood year clearly showed a highly successful hatch of fish. While the mid June to early July data showed a slight decrease in the fish netted from the long term avg. The week after the high water netting showed the largest amount of fish netted of the entire netting season. But wild fry to returning adult is much harder to determine now with the marking study for Chinooks complete three years ago. MORE Pen Reared Fish: DEC confirmed the first years data showed promise that pen reared fish sucessfully find their way back to the river of origin of where they were penned. However, DEC stands firm on gathering a full three years worth of data before making any changes. . Creel results: Clearly King Salmon catch rates were lower for the April Through Sept time frame. for me two notable results. Salmon catch still above the long term avg. and the Sept. results spiked much higher as those fishing had much better success since the fish are arriving late. Over all another strong year well above the long term avg. as anglers turned their attention to other Salmoid species (Browns, Steelhead and Lake trout). Marking Trailor - Future project is Coho clipping of fall stocks VS those held for over a year to hopefuly see what stocking method works better. Clipping of Erie Steelhead to asses the current stocking method of putting those fish in a few miles up rivers VS near the mouth of the lake stocking. Also a Lake Trout clipping project on the horizon.
  4. Shout out to Jerry and Sam.....and any others that put last nights event together with the DEC. Nicely done guys and good to see you folks....and many others that we haven't seen in awhile.
  5. It looks like they are going to be all right. What really needs to happen is the water to cool down so they can get started. Water was still 61 degrees yesterday.
  6. I was there Sat evening.....when the ladder gets full..they open up the gates and have holding ponds to give the fish more room, and not keep ramming each other to death. Two holding ponds were chalked full of fish...ladder was full of fish, and Beaver dam brook had lots of fish. DSR had a big run.....according to some guides that fished it Sat. they felt that up to 4,000 fish ran that day.....With the gauntlet of anglers all the way to the hatchery...those fish will stop and start several times. DEC with the number of fish that are sitting waiting to be spawned doesn't seem concerned they won't get their target of eggs. Talked to some anglers yesterday that said another big slug of fish is resting in the esturary ...and some guides who are fishing the mouth all night said there apperars to be plenty of fish out front in the lake. Two weeks ago fishing the Genny three different days, I had salmon boiling and rolling for four hours each day going past me. Seemed to me the slug of fish moving up there was the usual number of suspects. We all have opinions on where are they?, or ARE they even alive. Are we missing year classes etc. Just got back from LI sound, Linds and I fly fishing for False Albacore tuna off a boat. We were there last year same time...from Cape Cod to Montauk....not a single Tuna..not one. Everybody scratching their heads...did they all perish? where did they go....this is the time they show up every year...., I mean we are talking about a huge piece of water that has had these fish migrate in for the past 20 years like clock work. Last Thursday....for six straight hours we were into Blitzing fish...birds diving bait and fish poking their heads up everywhere. Put several over the side, till we couldn't lift our arms anymore. Fish like it or not are on their own time line. Most years it works out...but when 10 million fish didn't show up last year...while the guides were hurting, they didn't panic....they've seen this before....maybe only once or twice in the past 20 years...but they knew this kind of thing can happen. This year from the Cape to Montauk Point they are all busy taking fishermen out....nothing they could do to control these fish showing up when they needed them there.
  7. Yes was there this weekend, walked the property, holding ponds loaded past capacity, so much so the fish are pushing each other back out. Beaver Dam brook is also full of spawning fish. On Sat with some cool weather and good rain, well over a 1000 fish pushed up through the DSR. Stopped at the Genny yesterday.....lots of fish and fishermen in the upper river, lots of fish being dragged out. The observation of the River Stewards working the river is that the fish seem to be holding only in the deeper spots of the river and especially the esturary. Clearly the fish have been moving up river with 1000's at the hatchery ...most likely under the cover of darkness. I get a kick out of the reports on some of the tribs sites...about poor fishing...."only hooked 15 today very slow fishing....HUH?
  8. Salmonboy41. Alaska has these sensors in place counting fish, because of both the Sport and commercial fishery. No fishery is managed to the minute like Alaska's and much of that finger on the pulse is to not allow the Commercial netters to take more fish out of the system then a proposed quota that would damage the natural replennishment of a species. Salmon Trawlers will often have to sit at idel in the embayments awaiting a signal from AF&G to go ahead and drop their nets...and depending how the commercial netting goes on a daily basis a season can end in a day or two. So the answer to your question for LO is no, Some of the Great lakes tribs have Weirs to capture fish for eggs and milt, none that I'm aware of have sensor counters. Our fish swim into the front door of the hatchery. and I have no idea what a sensor system like that costs, and how many resources it takes to manage it....but I would imagine it's expensive. Hope that helps.
  9. Which is a valid point Tim....but data when available suggested strong hatching, and with high water, could and most likely would have induced the leaving of fish ....which could have resulted in less then stellar June data. Still...big Fry hatch never means a probabale big load of adult fish to the fishery. So absolutely those fish could have been impacted as fry and YOY by many many factors. Wild fish are unpredictable, and a reason we should be lobbying to keep the Clipping operation in tact. We won't be able to conclude data between wild VS hatchery much longer, and this year I think it's going to be a much more important factor.
  10. yeah Scott I get that.....I remember a couple years out of Sandy back in the late 80's and early 90's when we had this kind of weather pattern....I took a week in July each time, ran over to Port Hope, and fished 10 to 15 miles east of there and crushed the kings while everybody on our side was scratching their heads. Could have been an anomaly...but I have lots of friends in the Kingston area, and they had fish all summer where they usually don't. but think about it....Spawner Kings way offshore in August isn't the norm lately and maybe the fact that they were behind in their migration. I saw some fish from the Genny up near the powerhouse this past weekend. They looked healthy but short...suggesting again two years olds that matured early. Just wonder if the winter pushed the button on younger fish to mature quicker. Maybe some of the older fish didn't handle the stress of a long cold winter where they didn't feed well. They have to eat in winter to survive, Not as often, but they have to eat. We need to get fish in the hands of biologists. First part of the year slammer fishing for kings right on track with the past few years and second highest creel count in the last 10 years. Second half creel count will have to be below normal we would expect with all the poor fishing reports. Sooo...if the a horde of fish arrive as usual, we'll probably have to chalk it up to a weather related possibly bait dispalcement to where the fish hung out related issue and not an issue with specific health of the species. If not we'll expect DEC to autopsy samples to see if they can determine a true health issue.
  11. This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact as recent as 2007, the Hatchery in Altmar on National Hunting and Fishing Days which is always the last weekend of Sept. had little or no Kings in the raceway. A week later there were 20,000 fish in the raceways and beaver dam brook. I applaude Chris, for venturing out to find fish, as I've stated before , in a year with an Easterly flow of weather I always had to look much further off shore and east for that seasons mature fish. I have some friends on the eastern end of the lake in Canada who had a wonderful king season, and my Canuck brothers are having a normal trib king season. For the record....everybody talking about the flood year up on ther salmon river washing away the eggs...the actual data in the spring of 2011, showed a banner crop of hatched fingerlings. Another thing I'm noticing from pictures and fish we've caught last week up on the Salmon River the fish arriving, are in a condition that one would see after these fish are in a river for several weeks. Pics out of Oswego look like mid Oct. fish. To me looks like arriving late and maturing IN the lake as if they were in a river for several weeks...suggest in my tiny brain, that they may have been so displaced this year to the south shore tribs due to conditions, they are arriving later then usual, and are way into their accellerated spawning metabolism changes before reaching the pier heads. BUT the true test will be actual returns, and it won't be guess work. Remember creel census for the first part of the season showed near record catches. Talked to my friend at the Hatchery yesterday, and a nice cluster of very dime bright Coho's have just arrived, last few years we've seen them run a couple weeks earlier as well. Hang in their folks.....let's see what the fish tell us. We can have as many theories as we'd like but soon we'll get some true science involved....whether it's good or bad news, we'll have some experts to assess the data.
  12. Hey Vince....always nice when sport fishermen. Help each other out. However I'm a realist when it comes to the Atlantic Salmon Efforts. And I know in the US and actually in Canada the current study is to see if there is a natural returning match of AS strain to the environments that we are left with. Candidly Bill Gates wouldn't have enough money to create a stocking only program for any of the great lakes. Best and only chance is to find a strain that fits and can be successful from fry to Adult returner. While letting go the AS absolutely at least gives the fish a chance to retrun to a river to maybe help measure success...as a former Charter Boat Capt. I'm personally fine if your client thinks this is a fish of a life time and wants ot harvest it. But I will lobby to let as many chrome steelhead go boyz....just hit a couple really hot fish this week in the SR.....6 times in the air and into my backing on the tug. best wishes
  13. Thanks Jerry.... I'll think of some questions. On the topic of stream law enforcement, yes we'll all agree that we need to see much more presence, of CO's on the tribs, and I know other factions in DEC have taken the Law enforcement folks to task on this already. The bigger issue is the fact that the penalty for law breakers is a slap on the wrist. If I cross the border into Canada, and do something illegal, I'm going to jail, losing my truck and all my gear. Most states out west and Alaska same thing. So when it comes to making the penalty a deterrant to the crime, Sportsman have to work that through their elected officials and the State of New York court systems. One year CO's wrote 117 tickets just on the Genny. they went to a particular judge in Rochester, and only TWO were fined. We pressured the political system to get this particular Judge off that bench, and we did, but the legal system has a hard time worrying about a guy who snagged a fish, when on the same docket, they have rapists and murderers. The poor CO's who did all this work were a tad insulted to say the least. Thanks again Jerry.
  14. Hey Jer....question for you to confirm. In your post you said all are welcome, does that include the general public, or just members of the two Charter Boat Assoc? Thanks.
  15. Patriot.....just saw this....I started experimenting with the UV Marabou two seasons ago. I tie a lot of intruder swinging patterns with it. I truly can't confirm that I've benefitted from it''s use ,but i can tell you I like the material because the strands on the feathers are much longer and flowing, which gives my flies more movement then the materials I was using. Because fishing on the LO tribs is 1/2 hour before Sunup I don't see a big advantage, but low light days the flies are bright. I've had two stellar years with this material on success of catching many big steelhead. It ties really well, and keeps it's form, but I do load my intruders and leaches in plastic straws to help them keep their shape. I see you are up around Oswego...not sure of the shops in town, but after my success with this stuff...I spoke to Melinda in Altmar and she now stocks several colors.
  16. ....Fry numbers after seining with the Scientific accepted algorithm Dr Mike uses at the Cape with the seining results dictates a number. Each year I receive these results. So when we talk 3 to 10 M fry we aren't stating that there are 10 million recruitable mature salmon from a hatch. And in the case of wild fish they can't but guess how many survive. But say a year class is at 10 M...then of course 7% recruitable spawners would be 700K. But survival rates to adult phase is a Swag at best. I would bet the wild number is much lower ...say below 5% and closer to 3%. If the long term avg since they began the spring netting which is now 14 15 years of data...is say 5M ...that would suggest at a reasonable 3% sucess rate about an additional 150K to 200K fish in the system, which seems about right for the results of the last five years. This is the 2011 3 year old class which probably makes up most of the mature wild fish that was way down because of the drought. So highly likely we don't have the flush of wild matures we've seen the last couple years. Then if there was an off year of stocked fish in conjunction with this 2011 wild class....it's probable the returns will be down. Sounds like fish are starting to stage and show up. I stood on the Genny pier last Sun 8:30 in the morning and watched dozens of salmon breaking the surface. We'll know for sure real soon. I wouldn't be running past 20 to 50 foot of water these days.
  17. To Scott's point 10% is actually on the high side of the stocked fish that return to rivers of origin. Now that data is strictly an Altmar Hatchery recovery statement since this is the only location able to collect reliable data. General long term Avg. has been in the 7% range for the stocked fish. The wild card is the wild fish. With years after seining studies were complete that estimated 7 to 10 million fry had sucessfully hatched, and on a bad year as low as 3 million, you still don't get true survival rates of the wild fish. Returns to the hatchery the last couple years has put the wild to stock ratio in the 50 to 60% range, for wild fish on return of the fish sampled by DEC. Lots to consider in the harvert of our Salmon these days. There seems to be a tournament every weekend for 2.5 months, Those total points tourney's put the very best Salmon fishermen on LO in play. I'll bring up a data point I pointed out to DEC back in 1993, when they produced salmon harvested per trip ratios. They mixed rec and charter anglers together which brought the avg per day down. I told them they needed three data points pro and rec and all....When you run it that way the pro's who are out usually more then recs had a much higher per boat trip avg of catching and harvesting fish. Nothing unusual about that but you have to consider it's not necessarily how many people are fishing, but that the fewer boats that are out there with higher skills can put more pressure on the population then many more less skilled anglers. I would guess with all the tools that the rec angler has at their disposal these days and the Sharing of inforamtion, rec angler skills on Avg are much greater then 5 years ago, and way better then a decade ago. Salmon harvest has been in record all time highs on avg the past five years against the long term avg. So while boat trips are way down from the long term avg. you guys are much better anglers. My only comment on keeping fish...is a licensed angler has the right to decide. While it's the true herritage of American Angling, however there is no going back on the fact that a 1.5 to two year old fish in a cooler isn't going to ever be a three or four year old mature spawner.
  18. Gill lice. Prevalent in steelhead from the Great Lakes to Alaska. Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United
  19. Yeah walleye I've spent a lot of time in Alaska and on the kenai. A world class fishery but the king salmon returns have been in trouble for several years. In Alaska AF&G will shut down the fishing on a minute if they suspect a problem with the salmon returns. Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United
  20. Yup Agree Gambler.....the line up of all the cold water sport fish still requires stocking help. They even stock Kings in Alaska. Unfortunately...cause they have to now.
  21. PAP's post just triggered one other thought. The 2012 and 2013 open water fishing and trib returns (especially the trib returns) were lights out. That means this years mature adult class were the juvies (assuming we see more kings mature to spawning stages as three year olds). So this is the 2010 (4's) to 2011 (3's) year class that we had water and eye up problems with for sure....but also....were these young fish predated on, and or more important out competed for food? Triggering poorer servival rates?
  22. I mean no disrespect I just want to say.....and I don't get this.....what posture has DEC given the fishing community that makes you think they have an agenda to kill the most popular in land fishery in the world? BTW Atlantic Salmon fry are treated so that thiamine is no longer and issue. Many studies have been done to show that winter kings continue to feed and yet also winter in very deep depths of 200 to 300 feet. However core temps in all the great lakes were cold for longer, and normally fish in those states don't feed as well or as often. So I would think this past winter they didn't have the feed bags on as they normally did, but for gosh sakes we just experienced the longest time period of cold weather once again in over 100 years. I'm sure somebody is going to put up the long list of underhanded things the DEC has done to end this fishery...one that has record succcess for the past decade, and over all the most popular successful fishery of all the great lakes. The DEC to Vince's point from 1992 decided to manage the foarge and not the predators. I don't disagree that they may have pushed the panic button a little too soon, but I think the very last thing they want to do is end the life of the food web.
  23. So I'll weigh in and to try and keep this on track, I'll just go down each of Vince's detailed points and give my honest opinion also from my 42 years of experience fishing this lake and all the others. Very sorry but this is going to be wordy. 1) Started with Native species - There is a connection to the States in which the Lakes are in, as well as the Federal Gov't on management guidelines. I don't believe that these guidelines can't be "amended", but I think the Stakeholders will have to meet them somewhere on the fact that We should study, experiment and have programs for Native species. It's important to the legacy of sportfishing to never forget your past, and the original history of these the greatest fresh water bodies on earth. Of the two main natives species for LO, Lake Trout have the best chance to regain a natural stable existance. In talking to the USGS crew three weeks ago they were very encouraged by the number of wild lake trout they are getting in their Lake Trout trawls on the West end. Better numbers then ever before. Meaning the natural habitat is supporting wild repo. Most likely results like this are going to push this progran forward. Atl Salmon continues to be a long shot. I can't comment on OMNR, my biologist friends that worked on that moved to Thunder Bay and are working on other things, so no longer tied into that program, with enough knowledge to respectufully comment. But for the US side, our USGS study is still around finding a strain that may prosper. No impact on NYS funds for the LO program, and the few A salmon raised by NYS up in the ADK is not an operation that would be easily condusive to raise other species. We have enjoyed, (though limited) success with fish returning to the salmon river. And they now for the first time in 150 years are finding wild salmon. I'm no longer a professional fisherman, so having to find lots of fish and limits of fish are not a consideration. AND...those that fish for Atlantic Salmon are also not focused on tons of fish , but for sure fishable populations. We aren't there yet. But there is still a possibility for this to happen. It's not gone backwards and there continues to be baby steps forward rather then backward. This program appears to me, to have the least amount of impact on the open water fishery, except the position of the OMNR and other Canadian interests. Which no matter how much screaming the NYS anglers make....probably isn't going to drive management practices in Canada. In the 46 years the current program has been in place, I think over all from where I sit, native Species study in the big picture has been able to live with the sport fishing program, so I would say these is no reason for it not to continue. And remember these progarms started back in the 1950's before the stocking started....mainly to address "invassive species" e.g the lamprey eel. (1-a) Vince I'm taking eye up issues out of the first paragraph in your Essay. Water temp ...especially water temp is just not an easy thing to handle. In the past four years we had The hottest summer in over 100 years, and another I think in the top 10. With lower then average rainfall. No matter how and who manages the fishery .....Mother Nature can't be controlled, and thus neither can the temps of the river waters....ESPECIALLY in a tail water fishery where the draw isn't deep enough out of the rez to pump cold water. You wouldn't believe the proposals that have been made to the Power company at the Oak and Salmon river and also Oswego....on reconstruction of the rez's/lakes to get colder water in the system. It's 10's of millions of dollars, and who is going to pony that up?.....NOBODY. Vince to your point the Htachery has struggled with water supplies over the years. In talking to Andy this spring, they were digging another deeper well, and they put some gear in place to increase the water flows from the wells to get better water pressure thus some better oxegen in the hatchery. I honestly can't comment if they finished that investment project, and how well it's working if it's done, but we can find out. The point here is DEC isn't sitting on their hands for good water at the hatchery, but any and all Capital improvements to any DEC facility has to have approved funding. And we all know how broke NYS is. BUT to Vince's point can there be funds collected by stakeholders and provided legally for them to pursue capital projects? Need to talk to the poltical faction to find out how it can be done legally. You can imagine the red tape to do these things. Years ago The Lake Ontario Steelhead Assoc. decided to give gas cards to DEC to pay for gas for them to drive the lake in the fall winter and spring to do creel studies on the entire trib watershed. We had a b1tch of a time doing that. BUT The water supply even from the wells is from the same aquifer as the river, Eye Up Eggs. Salmon run when they run. Yesterday I know of a couple people who caught a limit of Kings in the Salmon river. Fish were already very dark. Also talked to a guy who got a nice box of kings off the salmon in LO river where the eggs were still very immature. As much as DEC strives to collect good healthy eggs from good healthy fish, the Fish metabolism isn't controlable. they are going to be in many different stages. Last two years there were fish in the ladder at Altmar in Mid August. Last year was a hot summer. Once these salmon go in there, they aren't turning around to swim back out. Those very early fish probably either perished and floated out before Oct. or if collected were probably eggs not usable. But the DEC ended up getting way more then their quota of good eggs. And how many times other then a couple years ago, was their a serious shortage in the last 40 + years. The DEC knows how and at what temps to collect eggs. They've been doing it a very long time. Will there be some years the situations become dire sure. So what else can be done. If would have to be approved by DEC, and just as the partnership for the pens was launched by Bob Songin, maybe Stakeholder weirs needs to be explored again. but once you make that commitment and get an agreement to do that....you the angler has to staff it every day and it's a lot of man power. DEC does NOT have the resourses to set up weirs around other rivers. That's not an option. And I'm sure there would be lots of push back as has in the past to this effort, but put it back on the table. So places like the Oak that truly doesn't get a run of salmon until Oct. maybe you get those late fish. If you have ever visited the Altmar Hatchery in Oct at egg taking time, you will realize that the raceways and Beaver Dam brook is jam packed with fish. It;s not like you can push an early arriver out of the way to get to the back of the line. If the eggs look bad they discard them right away. They take over a million extra for those eggs to compensate those don't eye up correctly. 2) Add 30% more King Salmon. The other side of the story on this...is ...if we did have a down year class for probably more then just one reason, there is report after report of tons of younger kings being caught. Just like the bait fish studies we sit and look at every year. There may be a down or missing year class, which usually opens the door for a younger year class to prosper. Of course we can't control bait fish flux. But it's the natural nature of how the environment works. OK but maybe there is an imbalance. If a year class of predators have dropped out it makes sense there could be less harvest of prey species. But if the classes behind them are robust, they willl naturally bring the prey back in balance. Yes there was die offs this spring of bait, and even since the beaches were cleared up 35 years ago..there was always spawning and winter stress die offs. some years much more then others. Yet we still don't have the shore line littered with dead bait fish. Still you could make a case for adding more salmon. But the data has to point to a significant gap. (And before you discredit the data) hear me out. The new USGS boat has the most modern research deep water technology of any in the great lakes. This is their second year at sea. I know people are seeing lots of bait, so let's see what they found. USGS and DEC can not make a knee jerk management decision on if a year class is lost. They can't because they can't see the other salmon in the lake that don't show up this fall to determine if all are over or under fed. The only data they can put into their management model is what comes home. So let's say the spawners are on the long term, avg. in size....and especially on the avg of say the last five years. There isn't going to be a compelling story to toss another 510K (30%) kings in, along with the wild population which they don't have a handle on from all the wild stocks out of the river, let alone rest of the tribs. So (1) bad year does not a story make. BUT let's say they are willing to add some more just to experiment. We might not get 30%, but they might be able to increasae some. Adding extra fish in one year isn't going to crash the lake. However they'd have to have...and you'd want them to have a series of years data that suggests this wasn't a short term problem. Here's the thing, they can't and won't make an irresponsible decision that would possibly crash this lake, because ...unfortunately it's not all about the fishery when talking about the lakes equilibrium. The program got started in the first place because cities, and towns, and private citizens complained about the baitfish washing up on shore. Politicians were under the gun to do somehtign about it, and turned to the DEC's and NRC's of the great lakes. And they figured it out, and we all know that Bill Pearce didn't know he was starting a booming sport fishery when he dumped the first bucket of Cohos in. There would be plenty of push back if we had a dead lake again. Still my positiion and it's only worth (1) vote, is to put the amount of fish in that matches the carrying capacity of the lake. Last few years other then the weather related problem from a couple years ago, we've had historical fishing. You've all said so on these very pages ....Logically one bad season...(and it's the second half of the season, cause the first half numbers didn't show this was going to happen)....year doesn't clear the way for any radical change. I know you don't want to suffer another bad july through august, but if it's falls over. Figure 5 to 10 years of learning to play golf. 3) Summer water releases. The Yakers .....have just as much right to use our water ways for sport as we do for fishing. Pulse of water four times a summer especially in June and July has no baring on pacific salmon migration. You are talking a 350 and 750 cfs while kings are off shore and not very many in the east end. This year the river was up over 4K at twice....and over 1500 CFS several times simply because of the weather. Power Company can't allow water to run over the dam folks.....that would create a catastrophy. August release? Still at under 1000 until Sept 1. Those early June and July flows bring in our Atlantic Salmon and Skamania steelehad. And also big browns. And the river has a healthy population of anglers using it. They also have a right to fish and expect some fish to be present. Without the base flows, there would be NO natural acquatic life in this river, and the health and well being of the environment that spawns as many as 5 to 10 million wild kings would be in serious trouble. They used to shut this thing down during the week. Inscect life that is crutial to all living creatures in this watershed were impacted. So yes there is a fantastic small mouth bass fishery there....lots of bait fish species and bugs for YOY fish to eat and survive on. There will always be warm water species in play in all our rivers...and has been since the dawn of time...yet we still have a very viable cold water sport fishery. Again since 1998 when the treaty went in place for base flows...is also some of the greatest results in catch rates we've ever had in the history of the fishery. Vince again just my opinion a "serious" one time eye up egg problem in the last 15 years, isn't time to roll the dice. DEC has had eye up egg issues certain years....many that we didn't even know about. What brought the 2011 to life was the inability for fish especially females to get the the hatchery. (4) Higher % of fish should be penned. I don't disagree with this...except to play devils advocate. The open water community screams for DEC to not put all their eggs in one basket. And I get that....wish there was another healthy place to raise these fish...without impacting other programs. The in-land fisheries which is gigantic folks....depends on Caledonia and displacing those fish and especially that brood stock isn't the answer. Plus the Virus risks. But I think the DEC can't allow all the fish in the pens even if you all accept the risk if there was a catastrophy like what happened at Sandy back in the 90's. I was there and I realize it was a bad decision that day to load them in...but also would could have happened is four days after the water temps were good...we got weather that rose the temps to leathel stage and the crew couldn't get them out fast enough....and ALL...not some but ALL are gone. But again....good suggestion to make to DEC...as long as nobody is going to cry about a total kill if there was a mishap. . (4-a) Size of the YOY fish is truly a product of the conditions in the hatchery. Some years weaher conditions and snow melt and water temps grow them slower....holding them longer ....to a point they will smolt in the tank before you can get them to the pens. So I agree size matters, but if you want the size on these tough condition years, then be Ok with fish that smolted in the hatchery and most likely your pen holding is just a baby sitting job. I'm going to make one more point about Pens. I used to volunteer and I've helped at Sandy, the Oak, and the Genny. I don't today because I live an hour or more away from these places....I'm NOT pointing any fingers....so let's not get crazy. This spring I was out and about and did visit a pen site. The pens were filthy...most likly from a rain event that rose the water and pushed a ton of silt and dirt into the pens, but that is life ending for these tiny fish. The feeding log was not up to date and the bags in the bin had dates and times for feeding that hadn't been completed. so I fed them. They hadn't been fed in over a day. And when the fish came up to eat, they didn't look good. I believe in the Pen programs. Cheers to Bob for getting this started and running all these years. but it seems all the pen programs struggle these days to get feed and cleaning volunteers. I have no idea what was the situation that caused the pens to be filthy and not kept clean, and the fish not fed for over a day. Probably was only a freak one time thing, hopefully but if you are going to take responsibility for the product...then you have to have the dedicated resources. And you can't have pen site leads begging for help. And that means if oyu have a high water flood tyope event...everybody is dropping what they are doing and running to save the fish. Watch the USGS charts for water flows and temps. You can see a five degree spike in less then 10 hours of a warm spring storm, where that temp pushes the pen fish to the brink. Vince the rest of your points for me are spot on. Care of the fish you handle. I watch boat anglers on video's and countless trib anglers mishandle fish. There are many inexperienced anglers in our environment. All I'd say is ...for me I'd assume you just are inexperienced. So If I approach you on a stream....and say...hey ...can I show you and easier or better way to handle that fish don't be offended.. There was a time I had to learn as well. If you don't intend to harvest a fish, don't take him out of the water. easy to do on a trib, not on a boat. But you can have a release chamber that is simply a fish cooler with controlled water in in, by having a simple stream thermometer and some ice to add keep the temps viable for their release. Don't hold a fish vertical. Displaces it's internal organs and a decent chance he won't survive. Keep hand out of the gills no matter what... Unless injured, if you want good returns of mature fish, don't harvest the young...skippers to two year olds. ..unles you intend to eat them. Lastly...(I know you thought this would never end...either did I.). There is a Vast community of other types of anglers. Yes the effort is far greater on the tribs then the lake. But that's not my point. We should be respectful for all the Salmonid species, open water and trib fisheries, and understand that Your game or my game isn't the only game in town. We can all play in this together, and for the most part we have. I'm a catch and release guy number one reason...I don't care for these fish as table fare. so why kill a fish somebody else might enjoy. If i release a trout after catching it...I or somebody's kid has a chance to catch it again. But I respect and would fight for the right to maintain our herritage to have the choice to harvest fish and game to the letter of the law. Thanks for reading, discussion, ideas and thoughts are instrumental to make solid positive successful adjustments. What Vince has done is to take a position. That's how you start a negotiation, Then you have to field all the relative data. and have to be open to comprimise to make gains in your position.
  24. Scott I'm past gray hair to NO hair.....and have entered the age of the 4 Pm Sr citizen Dinner specials. You got aways to go yet. Your buddy Gratson says hi BTW.
  25. Well their's that Gambler..... Gonna get Yankee Rick off the kiddy ride float fishing gear, and put the 13 foot two hander in his mitts....teach him the ZEN of the "Swing" ...or in his case SCHWING!!!. Stop playing with bobbers...and learn how to present the feathers so a "Playa" who'll rip your rotator cuff to shreads on the grab. God forbid if I ever got him to get the ultimate PULL from the almighty Salar....he'd be blabbering.....stuff like...Boat For sale....rods...riggers...electronics dirt cheap.....ahhh...ohh...ahh... Ok boyz.....another thread trashed all to he!! by a bunch of guys who like to wade around rivers and fish in rubber pants. Time to tie some Chinny flies...JUST in case any show up....ever.
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